If you're living in Dubai, or plan on travelling there, you might want to not use social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, as the Dubai Police are keeping tabs on Twitter and Facebook to catch out 'culprits' who criticize the UAE. Dubai Chief of Police has called for legal action against Twitter, for users who do so.
Emirates 24/7 reports that the Dubai Police are keeping a 24-hour watch on both Twitter and Facebook, according to statements made Major Salem Obaid Salmeen, Deputy Director of Anti-Electronic Crimes of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigations Department. Salmeen says:
These electronic patrols are detecting and tracking all topics and materials written and presented on these websites.
Salmeen has made it quite clear that any violations of the law on the website would be as "punishable as in the real world". What could land you in trouble with the Dubai Police? Spreading rumors, defamation and even Facebook tagging without permission are all offenses that will get you in trouble, and following several instances, they've decided to make sure they catch each and every offender in the act.
Dubai's police is equipped with the latest technologies in the field and has a qualified team specialising in anti-electronic crimes," adding, "Such technologies allow Dubai police to find the source of the abuse which will be kept in the server for 18 months.
There have already been arrests of UAE citizens, with Saleh al-Dhufairi arrested for tweets where he criticized the country's security forces, but was eventually released on bail. A 42-year-old Emirati was arrested back in February on charges of defamation, for tweets that were critical against Dubai's own Chief of Police.